- There is always a gap between what the students think they know, and what they actually know. Take the self-reported background knowledge with a big pinch of salt. Your starting point should be a good 1 mile back from the point at which the class tells you it is standing.
- It doesn’t hurt to over emphasise key points, the stuff that you want them to take away from the class. Repetition may be boring, but it is important.
- That reluctance to put pen to paper, or type the first letters – it may be apathy, but it is more likely fear. The cure is empathy. Do not be afraid of pushing your students. While point 1 is true, it is also true that they know a little more than they they think they know. What is missing is the ability to make connections in the scattered pieces of information they have picked up.
- Sometimes the students will not like you. They will not tell you they don’t like you. When you ask them if they have understood everything, they will say yes, but they wouldn’t have understood. They will not tell you they haven’t. These are the occupational hazards. Get used to them. More importantly, don’t let them discourage you.